Pilot Grants

Two times a year, Berkeley Population Center (BPC) affiliates and other faculty with PI status may apply for a pilot grant for seed or 'risky' research projects. We encourage innovative research that is 'risky' in the sense that the researcher has uncertainty about the form of the results. Proposed research should also be aligned with our signature themes of Demography and Data Science, Formal Demography, Reproduction and HIV, Population Health, and Family Policy. We seek to fund projects aligned with mission of NICHD's Population Dynamics Branch, https://www.nichd.nih.gov/about/org/der/branches/pdb.

These grants award up to $20,000, and may be funded in collaboration with the Center on the Economics and Demography of Aging (CEDA). For more information, please download the Call for Proposals and the PIlot Guidelines Revised 2020 (.docx).   See also, a List of Past Awards.


The Berkeley Population Center is making a special call for pilot grant proposals for social science research on the Covid-19 pandemic. We would especially like to support population-based research topics such as, but not limited to:
  • Estimating and measuring morbidity and mortality by demographic, SES, and geographic,
  • The modeling of disease transmission, incidence and prevalence: short-term and long-term.
  • The social, political and economic consequences of the pandemic, including on families, children, older, marginalized populations.
  • Economic, social and cultural impacts of mitigation policies.
We seek to  fund a large number of smaller proposals in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.
Process: Please submit a proposal to Leora Lawton, llawton@berkeley.edu by March 28 EOD. It should have: the research topic, data source, methods, goal, possible collaborators.  If accepted, you will be asked to submit a short proposal.  Note that IRB approval must be active before funds can be released for human subjects research.  Please use this document for the guidelines: Pilot_Guidelines_COVID-19.docx.